Sunday, November 30, 2008

What It's All About

I have had the priviledge of being a "Group Leader" with the MarathonFest Training Program here in Orlando, FL. I started with this program as just another runner in June 2004. Over the years, my focus has shifted from my goals, to assisting new runners complete their first marathon, or veteran runners improve their personal best times.

In June 2008, my co-leader Kim and I took to the roads with approximately 25 runners. The majority of the group was comprised of runners who had completed between one and nine marathons. As a group, we collectively had completed over 80 marathons! While the experience factor was there, the excitement and passion to train and improve was visible.

Within the group we had two runners who had never attempted to run a marathon. It would be the goal of Kim and I as leaders to help guide Aileen and Tom through 25 weeks of training. Both of them trained very hard to reach the start line of today's marathon. I could see the anticipation in their faces and their moods as it became time to test themselves on the road.

The day began slightly overcast, but very blustery. There was a wind of about 15-20mph, with gusts even higher. During the race these conditions continued. We trained for many different scenarios, heat, cold, humidity, but never wind. I have never run on such a windy day.

I was positioned near the finish area in Riverfront Park awaiting their arrival. First it was Aileen, then Tom a short time later. To paraphrase a line from the Master Card commercial, the look on their faces "PRICELESS!" It was a wonderful achievement for them to complete the marathon.

This is what running is all about. Sharing the achievements of your group, your "team". Being part of and sharing in a moment Aileen and Tom will never forget. I don't recall who said it about running your first marathon. "Nobody can ever take that away from you"!

CONGRATULATIONS to Aileen and Tom. It is runners or more importantly, people like you who keep me going. Thank You!


ShirleyPerly said...

Congrats to Aileen & Tom on completing their first marathons and to everyone else who ran at Space Coast. Indeed, it was a very windy day. If I were running, I'd have been tucked in behind you :-)

FatManRun said...

Congrats to Aileen and Tom. And congratulations on your 2nd place finish!